In the race to create the next great viral-food gimmick of 2016, we’ve seen milkshakes grow to obscene proportions, and doughnuts become legitimate currency. It appears the days of simply combining two beloved items into one has given way to a desire to destroy the very soul of a foodstuff and rebuild it into a monster.

Twenty-two-year-old James Kim, the owner of the recently opened Seoul Waffle Kitchen in Los Angeles, seems to bringing back a simpler era of Frankenfoods (like, uh, a few years ago), when you could believe in the formula of 1 + 1 = Cronut. According to L.A. Magazine, Kim is using his new Koreatown joint to sell something that appears pretty ingenuous at first blush: Korean-fusion waffle pizzas.


Here’s how Kim says he stumbled upon the idea:

“I was in New York for a year and a half, and I got really into pizza there. I didn’t know it could be so light and crispy like that,” he said. “I also really, really love waffles. And since I’m Korean, fusion waffle pizzas became the idea.”

According to L.A. Magazine, Kim has no previous culinary experience—besides being a server at a restaurant in Beverly Hills—but the entrepreneur isn’t sweating it. He claims that his mash-up food follows no trends and “only exists here.” 


However, it would be naive to assume that Kim created the waffle-pizza hybrid in a vacuum. The combination had a viral moment earlier this year when outlets like Mashable and Huffington Post shared a Food Steez video showing how to make the stoner dream snack (basically, by putting a calzone in a waffle iron). The concept of a restaurant that combines waffles and pizza isn’t even wholly unique, either; Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. in Sugar Land, TX has been doing it for several years already (though, to be fair, they don’t explicitly sell “waffle pizzas”).


It is a sign of the times, however, that Kim can monetize an Internet trend by turning it into a restaurant, bringing a meme recipe to the masses by making it easily accessible and marketing it well. In food as in everything else, there’s nothing new under the sun—just new ways to package ideas and make them pop.

[via L.A. Magazine]